How to Apologize professionally via email – A Complete Guide

Apologize professionally via email

Sorry, and apology is some of the most used words we use in our daily life. This not just applies to our normal lives, but it also plays a big role in our communication on the internet. Communication on the internet via email is the most effective, cheapest way sought after and used mode of communication today where physical communications have deprived. So, it becomes highly important to practice the best way to apologize professionally in an email.

Business communications are majorly conducted through the medium of emails. The way you send and propose your emails sets the tone and reputation of your company. Even a minor spelling mistake, wrong format, tech slip-ups, wrong salutation, and other minor things can decrease the credibility of your business apology email. Even when you practice apology email marketing, it is important that you make sure to use the right tactics that deliver your message and also adds an extra feather to your email marketing strategy.

In the below discussion, we will break down how to write an apology email and the best practice of creating a nice apology email.

 Art of Apology

The Art of Apology

Half apologies can never feel genuine. It could even feel more dismissive that could upset your email receivers and your connection with the customers. A careless half-apology statement can draw a lot of negative attention to the minds of your receiver. Whenever you make an apology, it should always be full of heart and forgiveness. It should depict your pardon clearly and should create an impact in the minds of your reader.

A half or dismissive apology might create a stepping impression on your asking for an apology. It could lead to misinterpretation and wrong acknowledgment of your message.


What is an Apology mail?

Well in simple terms, an apology mail is a mail where you present your apology. But when it comes to apologizing to customers via email, your apology emails should now represent that you care about them. Your apology email should be clear that the mistakes made should ensure that those mistakes will be handled fixed. Your apology email should be a perfectly framed professional apology letter for a mistake and misunderstood apologies.

There can be multiple ways how your formal apology letter to customers can be framed. It can be through a normal email, an apology video message attached with the emails, a statement posted exclusively, or in other different appealing forms. The length and the seriousness of your apology emails certainly depend on the seriousness of the issue. The most significant and underrated thing when it comes to an apology email is the connection with your receiver.

Whenever you send an apology email to your customer, it should create an impact and a major connection with them. So, when your receiver or your customer reads it, the customer feels personalized and satisfied. Try to use impactful and effective words in your apology message to achieve this along with using some personalized features like your receiver’s name, age, etc.


Why can writing apology business letters be challenging?

It takes grit and effort to apologize, isn’t it? Sometimes your ego comes into the picture or sometimes you feel that apologizing will make you admit that yes you are a bad person. You might feel to defend yourself. You might also be afraid of being accused of more.

Well, these are some of the pre-conceived notions we experience. Though apology lines for email get much easier as you don’t have to come face-to-face and also it is just a written communication. So, you can check your message and filter out unreasonable comments while writing a company apology letter to the customer. Apology mail to clients for mistakes can be performed effectively with fewer challenges through the medium of emails.

How to write an email of apology: Guide

Well, your professional apology email should be quite formal in structure and a specified and fixed order of thoughts should be managed nicely. Apologizing email in business can be worked out perfectly when you use the right words, right tones, right descriptions, and proper structure altogether. Below are some of the set of tips and steps to write an apology letter that can help you to frame your business emails perfectly.

Opening your apology

Before crafting an actual apology, you should be aware of addressing the person you are going to communicate with. Always adjust and modify your email as per the person and the type of issue you are apologizing for.

For instance, if you apologize regarding a professional situation, you should include some powerful and formal words like “Please”, “Dear”, “Thank you” and it should be in a decent format. Your email subject line also plays a major role in creating the first impression. Make sure to write an appealing subject line.

Send from a trusted and recognizable address 


Always try to develop a personal touch to your apology emails by using recognizable and company linked email addresses. The fact of a personal letter sent personally to any one person adds a better impact and genuine feeling in the minds of your receiver.

Be Proactive

Always be ultra-active and keep customers informed with an immediate response to any potential problems arising for which you have to apologize. Never making any delays to send an apology email and delay in communications would just aggravate the intensity of the problem.

Look at the Situation from the Customer’s perspective

It is always difficult to understand different perspectives and opinions. So, you should always keep aside your own perception and feeling and adjust your apology letter stronger according to how your receiver or your customer will feel.

Make yourself stand in your customer’s shoes and understand how you would feel if the same thing happened to you. Understand what the important things are to care about and what are the solutions your customers are searching for. Exercise empathy and craft your apology letter that imparts the highest impact on your customers.

Say you’re sorry!

Many companies refrain from apologizing, thinking that when they say sorry to customers, they are admitting that they are really sorry for the issue, confusion, misunderstanding, error and are accepting blame or admitting wrongdoing. Well, just an apology is not the end of the world. Therefore, sending the wrong email with not being wholly apologetic can create a disguised impression in the minds of your customers.

Acknowledge your mistake!

Always take the courage to accept your mistake. Frame your formal apology letter for the mistake and reflect that tone perfectly. You should not make unnecessary points to defend yourself. For instance, if you make a statement that “I am sorry if I made a mistake”. This shows that you are not accepting a good apology and are being reluctant to apologize. Instead, you should take high priority of your customers’ feelings and be extremely apologetic if you have made any mistake.

Explain the Situation!

Explain the issue as clearly as possible. Claim no excuses and be utmost transparent to what happened, why it happened, and how you will prevent it from happening in the future. You should frame an apology always keeping in mind how easy and productive it would be on your customer’s part to understand your issue.

Specify the ETA!

Set the expectations right and straight forward. Once you acknowledge mistakes, it is also important to let your customers know how you are going to prevent and fix the problem in the future and what further mitigation plan you will execute.

Come up with the Solution!

Well, just your apology won’t actually fix the problem. Your formal apology should be partnered with an effective solution to the problem that can help with any temporary resort to your customers. Your customer service apology should be a complete resolution to your customer’s problem to which you have to be apologetic.

Send Email from the Right Person!

Convey sincerity and empathy in your email to build a strong apology letter that understands the severity of the issue. It is very important to deliver the right message with the right tone coming from the right person. Use a personal apology email template to bring in more personalization and sincereness towards your customers.

Ask for Forgiveness!

Giving your customers insight that you are too human and you are also vulnerable to problems, helps your customers to take you naturally and understand you better. But always be apologetic and acknowledge your mistake by asking for forgiveness right away when even any slightest mistake happens to you.

Emphasize your apology by asking for a sincere excessive apology. Also, sometimes customers themselves cross the line, so understand the situation and then ask for forgiveness that is worth apologizing.


Make your customers believe that you are approachable anytime they come up with any issue. Show that you can be reached out anytime when your customers need any help. Let your customers know that you are free to connect with customers via phone or social media. Show that you care for your customers and that your token of apology letter is genuine.

Closing your Apology

Now on finally wrapping up your message, you should make sure that you use the right tone appropriate to ending your apology message. You should be generous and thankful to the recipient by wishing them well. You can also lead your ending by inviting your recipients to other platforms for further discussions. This will let your professional apology email show your initiative to open additional dialog as well.

Email for apology

Is Email the right medium?

Email certainly gives your apology a chance without any time constraint. You can take time to compose and present your thoughts in a very clear way to apologize professionally through an email. Emails do not want you to be spontaneous and react instantly to a person as it happens in physical person-to-person interaction. Though email sometimes feels less personalized. Still, email can be considered as a probable medium for the apology.

Apology email examples

As discussed above, your apology lines of the apology email should be impactful and compact with an attractive and appealing apology letter format. Writing a professional apology letter with the right words, the right tone, and the right motive will always create a positive impact in the minds of your receiver.

Below are some of the business apology emails for mistakes & error examples that will give you a fair idea of how customer service apology statements should be actually framed.


Apology Letter for a mistake to a customer-

Dear “Name”

First Paragraph – (Start with a short paragraph being thankful and apologetic to the mistake that happened)

Second Paragraph – (Describe what caused the mistake)

Third Paragraph – (Describe how you are going to fix it)

End your message, with a line that states your concern for any conversation, discussion, or any customer’s questions.

Thanks, and Regards,
(Your Company Name)
(Contact Details)


Technical Issues

You need to react when your website or your server goes down. You should quote a simple technical difficulties apology letter. Not a whole big letter. Just one-two paragraphs are enough to mention the timeline of the server outage and what has caused the server outage.

Also, your customer care team should be responsive to any query arising by customers during this downtime. You can quote a common email to all your customers, or a personal email, or a message to particular customers who fall under a particular region that is facing the issue.

Follow the below example for your reference by Chanel.

Technical Issues

 Wrong Target Segment

You can make the best use of segmentation for personalizing emails. Though if you misdirect segments and send in error, it becomes your liability to inform the segment at the earliest with a decent apology. You should start with an apology and include the first paragraph stating the misunderstanding, followed by the second paragraph where you list the offer that is available for that segment.

Follow the below example by Pluralsight.

Wrong Target Segment


Copywriting errors

Sometimes there might be copywriting faults which will need you to send a corresponding email for the apology. In cases when your text is not aligned well or if your message is not delivered properly, send a corresponding email admitting fault and apologize for the error in a casual and simple manner. Just admit your mistake, explain what actually your intentions were, and thank the people who spotted the error. The below example by Methodical coffee could be the perfect reference for this kind of apology email.

Copywriting errors


Apologize to a customer for the delay!

In today’s world, people have gone impatient and intolerant to even the slightest of delays. So, it becomes very important to apologize for a delay caused by you and greet with a good apology in response that appeals to your apology well and also explains your intentions. You should quote an apology letter mentioning the details and the reasons for the delay caused and how you are going to treat that for future purposes as well.

Follow the below reference example by Anti Social Social Club,

Apologize to a customer for a delay


Forthcoming Maintenance

If you are aware that there can be forthcoming maintenance activities that could confuse your customers and lead them to stand still, then it is very likely to inform in advance and apologize so that your customers face no immediate or uncertain issues. Apologize for the inconvenience and come up with suggestions and advice on what to do during that time.

Follow the below example for your reference –

Forthcoming Maintenance


Mass Apology email

This is the apology email; you will quote keeping into consideration the masses or wide audience. These mass apology letters should have a similar format sent to all groups of people. It should be quoted keeping in mind a wide perspective of your wide audience. Follow the below format for your reference –

Dear (Group name)

The first paragraph (Be sorry for the issue and address the whole group in a short paragraph)

Second paragraph (Explain the details of the issue and let them know its solution)

Third paragraph (Explain the prevention norms and by when the issue will be resolved)

We hope to see you soon (or any line similar)



Negative Customer Service Experience

Never take any negative feedback or any negative customer service experience at your ego. Accept that your product or your service was not apt to fulfill your client’s expectations. Respond to the negative feedback constructively with a good apology email that confronts your genuine apology to a customer for bad service.

Make your customers believe that you are apologetic and will improve on enhancing the fields that need improvements. For this, your apology email should be simple, to-the-point, and impactful. Follow the below format to construct a decent apology email for negative feedbacks –

Dear (Customer name)

The first paragraph (Be thankful to know their responses and also put forward your deepest of apologies)

Second paragraph (Explain your intentions and clear any misunderstanding)

Third paragraph (Mention about the preventive measures, cause and how are you going to enhance your performance in the future)

End with a thanking line.


Apologizing for Bad Client Treatment

This is the biggest mistake you can ever make if you set poor standards of yourself in front of your clients and customers. If you have caused any unhelpful or rude behavior that has hurt your clients, then it is your utmost responsibility to appeal for the highest of apologies for customer service that was undelightful. You should not make any delays in apologizing and take the initiative to be apologetic to unpleasant behavior. You should apologize whole-heartedly for the negative experience with a brand your clients had to go through.

Here’s a sample example of how to apologize to a customer by email –

Apologizing for Bad Client Treatment


Billing error – Wrong Invoice sent

This is the apology email you should be highly responsive and quick with. As delays and mismatch in invoice deliverables can cause your client’s books to tumble. So as soon as you detect a wrong invoice sent, be quick to apologize, send a perfect email to apologize, mentioning the error inputs, and send them the right invoice along with the email.

Here is a sample example format you should follow –

Dear (name)

First Paragraph (Mention about the wrong inputs)

Second Paragraph (State the reasons if any that caused the wrong invoice)

Third Paragraph (Mention the right changes and the right invoice and attach the right invoice along with the email)

End by making an apology for the inconvenience caused.


Subsequent Outage – Mass apology email to customers

As you mail a mass apology email, follow the same format, just that mention the additional details regarding what caused the service outages, a timeline of the service outage, and by when will the issue be resolved. Start with a token of apology for the unexpected outage and let your customers know about the reason for the outage and assure them that these outages will not repeat again.

For an example of the format, follow the sample example format of the apology to the masses discussed above.


Performance Issue

You should take the performance issues as the topmost priority as these can decide your path of success. If in case you fail to deliver any valuable performance, you should be up and active to apologize for the issues and make your customers believe that this won’t happen again.

Follow the below sample example of the format to quote your apology for any performance issue –

Dear (name)

First Paragraph (Start with a heartly apologetic for the unpleasant performance line or any line similar.)

Second Paragraph (State clear reasons on why there were deviations in the poor performance and how you are going to fix it)

Third Paragraph (Assure your client that this won’t happen again and end with a line of apology)

End your email with a thanking and an apology line.


Addressing a bug in the Product

As soon as you address a bug in your product, take responsibility to quote an apology letter to your audience at the earliest. Make sincerest apologies for the problem with a decent and bug addressing an apologizing letter that also mentions what caused the bug, how you are going to fix it, and by when will the bug be fixed. Follow the below example of the format for an apology email concerning the bug –

Dear (name)

(Start with an impactful apology line)

First Paragraph (Mention about the bug and the reasons why the bug was caused)

Second Paragraph (Address your audience and the problems faced by them. Also mention how you will fix the bug)

Third Paragraph (Mention the timeline of resolving bug and what can your audience expect in the future)

End with an apologetic line for the inconvenience and assure them of a solution.


Apologizing for Cancellation of a Service or Meeting

You should be ultra-active to inform your audience about any cancellation or delay in service or meeting as your clients might have blocked time for the same. You should send a decent apologizing business email to reach out to your audience as soon as possible and inform them about the controllable and on-controllable factors.

Follow the below example for the format of the apology email for this purpose –

Dear (name)

First Paragraph (Start with an apology and thanking line for adjusting with time)

Second Paragraph (Mention about the reasons for the cancellation or the delay)

Third Paragraph (Inform about the future timeline and when will the service or the meeting be scheduled further)

End your letter with an apology again and keep them informed about the daily track.

Email to a customer apologizing for a product or service is damaged

In case you have failed to deliver the right product or service, be responsive to reach out to your audience with an apology. You should be deeply apologetic in your service apology letter and should assure a sense of improvement and enhancement to your audience. You should also assure robust solutions to all the problems faced for the damages caused.

Follow the below format example for your reference

Dear (name)

First Paragraph (Start with an attractive and meaningful apology line that creates an impact on the first go. Also then thank your audience to address the defective aspects)

Second Paragraph (Mention about the genuine reasons on how the product and the service was damaged and what were your intentions.)

Third Paragraph (Assure quick solutions and improvements to defective aspects and make them believe in your products with some meaningful lines)

Fourth Paragraph (Be deeply apologetic and quote a sweet message to greet your highest of apologies)

End your email by thanking them for their time and their adjusting to the inconvenience caused.


Apologizing for problems with shipping

Sometimes you may or may not be responsible for the problems caused by shipping. Though there can be some factors you can control like the packing, information on the availability of the product, etc. And there can be factors like weather conditions, unforeseen accidents, etc. which you cannot control. Though whatever the reason may be, you should be apologetic if your clients and customers face any problems with their anticipated shipping. 

You should write an email to say sorry, following the example of the below format –

Dear (name)

First, two-three lines should be related to your product description, details, shipping address, receiver name, and every other detail that was collected for shipping purposes.

Second paragraph (Be apologetic for the parcel not being shipped properly for the product or the proper packing was not received)

Third Paragraph (Mention the genuine reasons for the problems in shipping and assure with a solution. This solution may be a new shipment or any replacement, whatever the product/service line as per the businesses be)

Fourth Paragraph (State about the details on further shipping transactions and how it would be handled to bring out the solution)

End your apology letter extending your apologies and assuring that a quick resort to the shipping problems will be provided soon.


When not to send an apology email to a customer?

Knowing when to send an apology as well as knowing when not to send an apology are two sides of the same coin. Both equally essential. Your strategy should be thinking about both. Analyzing the situation and then deciding whether you need to send the apology or correction email, is the way to go.

Below are instances when you need not send an apology email to the customer:

• After sending the same email twice:

It happens very often that the same email is sent to the same person twice. Even the most advanced email marketing automated tools make this mistake and Of course, this isn’t professional but that doesn’t mean you have to send a third email stating Sorry! Just let it be but remember to apologize for the same in the next email.


• Sending apologizes for letter for type mistakes:

Grammar and spelling errors are a daily occurrence and nothing so serious to deserve a second apology email for the same. Make a note to proofread your content for typo errors before sending it out next time.


When the email includes a broken link:

You may have attached a broken link with the email you have sent out. Adding a simple redirect is sure to solve your problem instead of sending more emails that are more likely to clog the customer’s inbox.


• When the email includes the wrong coupon code:

Huge email marketing and campaigns have dealt with this problem cleverly. Rather than admitting your mistake, just amend a back-end platform.

The Importance of apologies for an email in Business Communication & not repeating mistakes:

Why is apologizing so important for business communication? Why is it important to learn from mistakes?

Sometimes making mistakes is alright. However, it is important to show your commitment towards business relationships with customers even during such times. This will help retain your reputation in front of the customers even after you make mistakes.

However, if the customer regularly complains about a negative experience, it might be more than just that. Your support team isn’t liable to cover every department’s fault. In such situations, it is important to review and look for the cause of it instead of apologizing to the customer.

A template to writing an apology letter to a customer:

Having an apology template ready at hand helps to create and send them quickly. This increases your support team’s efficiency. Your sincere apologies email sample should assure the customers so that their trust remains with you, even after the mistake.

Here is an apology email format to the customer:

Dear {customer name}, 

We are sorry for the inconvenience you had to face due to an issue from our side. We at {Company name}, prioritize customers and their satisfaction. Anything less than that is considered unacceptable here.

The issue you faced was due to {reason} and our team is working constantly to resolve the same.

Here is a {coupon/discount code} as a thank you to overlook the mistake on our part.

As we have already mentioned, we appreciate the trust you put in us and will continue to prioritize your needs. Other than this, if there is anything else, we can do from our end please do let us know.


{Company Rep Name}.


Sorry is a very powerful word. Accepting your mistake and taking complete responsibility for the same will help increase customer retention. The above guide on how to say sorry in the email will help you repair and rebuild your relationship with the customer which in turn will help you during future unfortunate events.

Best business apology emails end their heartfelt apology with another sorry, as the ultimate goal of an apology is to make the customer feel better. Also, keep the conversation open as it will make the customers feel welcomed. So, what are you waiting for? Read the above blog, and next time you make a mistake use creative ways to apologize! For any bulk email service related information visit Deliver2inbox.com.


Q1) What are the three ingredients of a proper apology?

There is a naturally accepted pattern on how to say sorry via email. And this consists of three main ingredients:

1. Acknowledging the fact that you and your company have made a mistake. This is the very first step.

2. Accepting and feeling remorse for that person. You need to sympathize with the customer and feel the inconvenience he/she is going through due to your mistake.

3. Restitution. Where, after reviewing and evaluating you try to make the situation right.

This is the standard for apologies that the customer expects.

Q2) How to choose your subject line wisely?

The subject line for an apology email to customers holds the utmost importance in an apology letter. The subject line is the first thing that the customer will lay eyes on as they open up their inboxes. The subject for an apology letter must start with something which will reflect your company’s positivity and genuineness. You need to reassure the customers that everything is taken care of and this mistake won’t be repeated.

Here is some apology email subject line to help you:

· Sorry about that.
· We messed up!
· Something went wrong.
· We apologize for the confusion.
· Let us make it up to you.

In a formal email to apology subject line, you need to let your sincerity shine throughout.

Q3) Do all mistakes require the same level of seriousness in the apology email

The answer is no. It is important to evaluate and attach a certain level of seriousness to each mistake before you begin to craft your apology email response. Every mistake is different, and you should understand it too. Start grouping it under the following categories:

· Technical errors and minor issues:

These mistakes include typo errors, grammatical mistakes, and so on. These things won’t hurt the company and don’t require a response. However, improvement is essential.

· Embarrassing ones:

These are due to the customer’s experience with your service. This requires an apology and improvement on your part.

· Detrimental real problems:

These problems are serious and may cause long-term damage to the company and its reputation. Serious measures need to be taken for the same.

Q4) Should you be worried and take customer complaints personally?

The answer is an absolute no. Even though the customer is too angry or emotional about the mistake on your part, apologize professionally in an email. It is important to acknowledge your mistake and work on the same. Make sure it does not become a habit. Always keep an apology email format ready and send it in case of repeated mistakes to help maintain the customer relationship.

How to Apologize professionally via email – A Complete Guide
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How to Apologize professionally via email – A Complete Guide
an apology mail is a mail where you present your apology. But when it comes to apologizing to customers via email, your apology emails should now represent that you care about them. Your apology email should be clear that the mistakes made should ensure that those mistakes will be handled fixed. Your apology email should be a perfectly framed professional apology letter for a mistake and misunderstood apologies. There can be multiple ways how your formal apology letter to customers can be framed. The length and the seriousness of your apology emails certainly depend on the seriousness of the issue. The most significant and underrated thing when it comes to an apology email is the connection with your receiver.
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